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News E3: "Steam sales cheapen intellectual property"

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 7 Jun 2012.

  1. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    The big difference is what each company wants from their service. EA is still focused on the game, Origin just exists to cut out the retailer and keep a little more money in their pockets. Valve has gone down a totally different path. Steam exists as a retail service, Valve sell games intending to get the retailer's cut since they quite often aren't selling their own games. They're salesmen, they'll sell their product by whatever means work best.

    Valve are also masters of the loss-leader sales method. Somewhat ironically, Valve's own games are often the cheapest and most heavily discounted games on Steam. They don't keep prices of their own games high to put them above games from other developers, quite the opposite: they literally give their games away. Alien Swarm for free, Portal temporarily free, TF2 became free, Dota 2 going to be free, and then copious coupons and discounts for Valve games in every sale or event. They accept the money lost giving games away rather than selling them because they make it back and more by spreading Steam and getting people interested in their IPs.
     
  2. spolsh

    spolsh Well-Known Member

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    surely, as games online need a large number of players (else empty servers/can't get a match etc), it's better to sell more copies at a lower price. If you get a truly great game, but price it too high, even the people that have paid a premium to get it, won't play much. Then when you release - Big Game 2 : Return to Cackland, it will sell even fewer copies and return less revenue, as players remember they couldn't get a game going on the first one.

    saying that, from what I've read, the model seems to be working for BF3.
     
  3. Porkins' Wingman

    Porkins' Wingman Can't touch this

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    How many here are bagging EA but have bought either Mass Effect 3 of BF3? If you insist on playing their (metaphorical) game by their rules then you increase the chances of an EA win.

    I don't have Origin. I do have Steam. My price point on pretty much all games is £5 - there's too much crap released with bugs, too much choice of older games, and I'm too resistant to the hype of new games. EA games never seem to get that cheap and as it happens I don't think I've got any EA games.

    Anyone with any sense can see that the high release price of games is determined by the susceptibility of the core audience to marketing and community hype. Let's not kid ourselves that much has really changed in games in the last 10 years - when a new game comes out you're rarely buying into something genuinely new or unique, you're buying into the ability to be in on the discussion of the current hot topic FPS/RTS/Racer/etc incarnation.
     
  4. .//TuNdRa

    .//TuNdRa Resident Bulldozer Guru

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    I bought BF3 because it was better than Call of Duty. I'd rather line EA's pockets than Koticks. Lesser of two evils in my eyes.

    But I only own four games on Origin, Five if you include Burnout Paradise that I haven't started up for about four years and doesn't even show up in my account. All four of those games were because I liked the IP, not because I wanted Origin. (Burnout Paradise Predates Origin.) Sadly two of those four have turned out to be crap, the third turned out to be a total rapefest, and the fourth I feel ripped off by because I bought the damn DLC pack before the game and there wasn't any warning that said DLC pack didn't actually include the sodding game.

    Little issues.
     
  5. vdbswong

    vdbswong It's a Hedgehod

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    Single handedly the best quote in this thread.

    Psychonauts (2005) is an ancient game, released well before the £1 price (2010). And whilst it hadn't sold particularly well, it was critically acclaimed and very well received.

    And as for Double Fine being a name no one had heard of? They'd already released Brutal Legend before the sale (in 2009) and whilst Psychonauts was their first game they'd released as a studio, that didn't matter.

    Why? Because they had Tim Schafer of Monkey Island, Grim Fandango etc. leading it... Double Fine aren't famous because of their games... it's because of the man behind it.
     
  6. Tangster

    Tangster Butt-kicking for goodness!

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    I own Mass Effect 3. I own the entire Bioware catalogue, which also happens to be the only EA games I own with ME3 being the only game I gave on origin.

    I bought it as a physical pre-order and would have done regardless of it being on Steam or Origin, but given the choice, I would not have registered or downloaded Origin.
     
  7. Skiddywinks

    Skiddywinks Member

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    Sorry, cba reading all the posts, but hasn't it been shown that Steam's sales actually increase revenue, and not only units shipped? As in, it makes them more money.

    Granted, sometimes Steam go for that approach earlier than I would be willing to consider a fair length of time to charge more, but when no one is buying it anyway, what have you got to lose? You make some money, spread the word, and if the game is good you are lining yourself up for a fanbase.
     
  8. mdshann

    mdshann New Member

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    I have 2 issues with this EA announcement. My first issue and I think the biggest one for consumers is that Steam allows games to remain on the market for much longer than they normally would. Compare Steam to a brick and mortar store that would have to hold onto physical copies of the game to be able to sell it. After a while the game would no longer be interesting to customers and it would stop moving off the shelf. The retailer would love to have that space for the latest and greatest fast selling game, so they will not buy as many to sell. This would result in less customers getting to play the game. Steam only has to have the hard drive space and web pages related to each game, very inexpensive compared to retailer shelf space. This means that steam can afford to offer the game for sale for much longer.

    A reason that steam sales are good for developers is that digitally distributed games do not have the same type of cost per unit associated with physical products. With say a gaming computer, you have a set price you can't go below without losing money. With a digitally distributed game, you can lower the price and hope to sell more copies, because you're trying to recoup the total investment and not a cost per unit.
     
  9. atlas

    atlas New Member

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    Just because origin has "users" from mass effect 3 and battlefield 3 doesn't mean they are competing with steam. I have an origin account but I would never actually buy a game off it the only reason most of those people have origin is because EA forced it on them.
     
  10. 1ad7

    1ad7 New Member

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    well steam is doing great customers love them, game developers love them. I wouldnt touch orgin if it wasnt for BF3 and ME3. Thats all I have thats all I will get.
     
  11. V3ctor

    V3ctor Tech addict...

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    I can buy games at Amazon cheaper than on Origin!!
    Steam is great, the promo's are good, normally I buy the games I want to buy, but if a promo appears I'll buy a game that wasn't in my plans. I have a big Steam library because of this :)
     
  12. feathers

    feathers Well-Known Member

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    If you buy a game cheap on steam... assuming it's your first exposure to that game... you are more likely to support that game developer in future if the game is good. I don't always wait for bargains... sometimes I will pay full price. Origin did have a few bargains at one point but they have dried up now apart from a page of very stale never changing items.

    The whole purpose behind steam having extreme reductions is to stop sales stagnating and stopping an otherwise good game ending up forgotten. It keeps things fresh and it does the same for older games that certainly would be forgotten about because newer games come along. You may buy that game at a bargain price on steam but if the developer makes a sequel you're more likely to pay a higher price for it and of course more including to buy DLC.
     
  13. Nikumba

    Nikumba Member

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    I have to laugh at EA for this, they are comparing apples to oranges, I have never logged into Origin so correct me if I am wrong but it only sells EA games, where as Steam sells all manner of publishers and developers.

    I have a lot of old games I used to have on CD I have bought on Steam, I will buy a few titles on release from Steam, but if it is a Steamworks game and its cheaper in retail channels then I will buy it that way.

    But then with the way EA is going who is going to buy their games? I mean was getting the new SimCity but won't bother now, as its always online, no single player as such. Plus you have the devs saying if servers get overloaded on launch we can make it so you temp can play single player.

    So why not give it to us from the start, plus this is how the pirates will crack it.

    Kimbie
     
  14. cookie! nom nom

    cookie! nom nom Member

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    ea will always be a joke, why would i pay £30 when amazon sell for £15. even then the games they made in the last 5 years have been just ok.... nothing amazing (unless bf3). but then again they have killed half the games that made them great.
     
  15. vdbswong

    vdbswong It's a Hedgehod

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    You're wrong.

    EA have started securing deals with a number of different publishers to sell their games on Origin, similar to Steam.

    Off the top of my head i can think of Batman: Arkham City and more recently, The Witcher 2.
     
  16. MjFrosty

    MjFrosty New Member

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    I should imagine they do at this stage, especially since they recently got voted the most hated company in America. Although they blamed it on the trolls moaning about the ending to ME3 lol.


    I think the other side to this is that people don't want to have multiple clients open all the time. Steam has been around for a good few years now and it works just fine. From a marketing stand point, who in their right mind goes into a huge event full of their target audience, and says "Here is our platform, we've managed to coax you in with Battlefield 3. Heres the thing, we would like to charge you more than Valve"

    Sorry, but what a complete tw*t. No two ways about it IMO.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jun 2012
  17. GMC

    GMC Well-Known Member

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    Pretty poor show from ea there. But having said that, I don't want a monopoly environment, steam or anyone else. Really this whole situation has been played out so many times before. Haven't we all heard these types of "don't sell so cheap" comments before in other sectors... WallMart and Amazon spring to mind...
    EA should rethink their position and start thinking of the game sale market value as finite and work out how to get a bigger share of the money being spent based on how its being spent. Instead they are trying to raise the unit cost to grow revenues, only viable if you assume that the finite factor is unit sales, e.g. gamers can only play so many games. Not the case in my opinion.
    It will all come out in time, but without this rethink from EA, we will see them increasingly charging higher prices and investing big in development of a shrinking portfolio. Eventually they will hit a crisis point where the fact that model just breaks and becomes non-viable. Meantime, we all get the steam service we know, want, and love...

    I'd just prefer to have another steam type around so that nobody can shout monopoly, get the beaurocrats involved, and muck up the service in a pointless attemp to promote more competition...
     
  18. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    GOG can be Steams competition as far as I'm concerned. True they started out as, and primarily sell old games, but they are slowing starting to sell indie games and AAA releases.

    We don't want Origin in its current state, sorry EA.
     
  19. Hypno

    Hypno New Member

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    Steam over Origin any day of the year!

    Personally I think Gabe should call out David DeMartini and have a little fight between the platforms. EA should sell Steam say 10k of keys bulk price of BF3 for example. An then let Steam sell those keys and measure how many people buy on steam and origin in the same period.

    I for one would buy BF3 on steam, so I didn't every have to use origin again. I click to play BF3 get a new item buy bla bla for £45...err no Amazon have that 2 year old game for £15.

    EA should be thanking Steam as if it wasn't for Steam I wouldn't own ME1&2 as they're not really my type of game but I brought them and they sit in my back catalogue not being played until when I board. I wont buy ME3 why it origin only....jog on EA!

    The only reason David DeMartini can boast about 11 million users is because of origin only games like BF3/ME3...if EA gave customer the choice they would have at most 3-4 million users at a push. The price tag on the new Sim City is ridiculous and you bet that will require origin ffs!
     
  20. modfx

    modfx Loft Gremlin

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    I think theyre just mad that valve are streets ahead on digital distribution.
     
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